Manuscript Collection


MOFFAT, ALFRED                                 94-031



Physical description:

85 rare monographs



1729-1876. Undated.



The volumes were purchased from J&J Lubrano of Northampton, Massachusetts between 1989 and 1993, with the largest purchase in March 1993. Many were previously held by the Forbes Library of Northampton.


Biographical sketch:

Alfred Moffat (1863-1950) was a Scottish music editor and arranger. He was born in Edinburgh, Dec. 4, 1863, died in London, June 9, 1950. He studied with L. Bussler in Berlin (1882-88), then went to London, where he became active as an editor of violin music by old English composers. He published the series Old English Violin Music (London) and Meisterschule der Alten Zeit (Berlin). He also published numerous arrangements, The Minstrelsy of Scotland (200 Scottish Songs); The Minstrelsy of Ireland; 40 Highland Reels and Strathspeys; Songs and Dances of All Nations (with J.D. Brown); and various other editions of string and vocal music. [from Concise Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. Ed. Nicolas Sloniwsky. NY: Schirmer, 1988. p.860.]


Scope and content:

 These 85 titles comprise an exceptional library of mostly 18th-century British music anthologies and are representative of music common in the United States in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The oldest materials in the Center’s collection were a part of the personal library of Scottish scholar Alfred E. Moffat (1863-1950) and formerly owned by the Forbes Library in Northampton, Massachusetts.  Moffat compiled and edited numerous books of music from eighteenth-century Britain and Ireland; the eighty-five volumes acquired by the Center formed a sizable portion of Moffat’s working collection of source material.   Included are several volumes of fiddle tunes compiled by the great Scottish fiddlers and composers Niel and Nathaniel Gow and William Marshall, numerous collections of Scots songs, a rare guitar tutor published by Robert Bremner, many song anthologies, and copies of various musical miscellanies and magazines. 



The volumes are cataloged in the CPM database and searchable through the CPM website. [Hint: place “Moffat” in the Keyword search field to find all Moffat books and sheet music volumes.]



EBG/JLB January 5, 1995

Updted LPC November 2012.